Attack Column or ‘Ordre Mixte’: How did the French deploy at Albuera?

French Ordre Mixte

English historians since Oman have claimed that the French V Corps at Albuera formed ordre mixte, i.e. mixed order with battalions in a combination of line and column. Strangely French sources make no such claim. In all French sources V Corps was in closed column (colonne serrée). Unfortunately Oman mistook a French source and, because of that mistake, English historians have got it wrong since.

Read more

How to Discourage Massed Attack Columns in Lasalle

Lassale - Musing - Massed Attack Columns - Banner

Reading the Lasalle Forum it quickly becomes clear that a common game tactic is to mass Attack Columns against defending Lines. That in turn means that defenders abandon Line and commonly deploy in Attack Column themselves.

The problem with all of this is that is completely unhistorical. Historically Attack Columns were expected to deploy into Line when they got to musketry range so left enough room between units to allow this.

Personally I find the unhistorical sight of massed Attack Columns offensive and I want a game mechanism to prevent or discourage it. The Lasalle Forum has a bunch of suggestions which I thought I’d list here.

Read more

Brigade Bases for Volley and Bayonet

Volley & Bayonet has big bases. Pretty much all troops are based on 3″ x 3″ bases; you can have any number of figures you want of any scale. I recently rebased my Peninsular War figures on big bases. I wanted to leave myself options so I effectively went for half size V&B bases. Each of my bases is 80mm wide by 40mm deep and . gets six cavalry or 12 infantry. Two of these, one behind the other, is a V&B brigade stand.

Read more

Albuera – A Shako Battle Report

James Falkus, Rich Wilcox, Chris Harrod and I wanted to try out Shako II. Because of my recent enthusiasm (Spanish Units at Albuera) I suggested the Albuera scenario from Fields of Glory (FOG). FOG is for Shako I and some aspects of the scenario bug me but nobody had the energy to make up a different scenario and we hoped it would be a good game anyway. It was!

Read more

Spanish Units at the Battle of Albuera

I thought I’d write up everything I could find about the Spanish units that fought at Albuera (16 May 1811). It started out as a “how do I paint them?” exercise for my Albuera Project then moved into a “where else could I use those figures?” exercise. Mainly I was just conscious that I’ve lots of material and this gives me an excuse to publish some of it in a way that adds something (i.e. the Albuera context).

Read more